Power Grid Pulls Plug on Gore Stunt
By Maurice Chittenden
IT was intended to be the symbolic gesture at a global series of rock concerts next month to alert people to climate change.
Al Gore, the former US presidential candidate turned climate doomsayer, had wanted a massive switch-off of lights by television audiences, but Britain's National Grid has vetoed the idea.
The inconvenient truth, it says, is that the power surge when people switched their lights back on could cause disruptions in supply and even endanger hospital patients on life-support machines.
Live Earth will be a series of concerts, modelled on Live Aid and Live 8, aimed at raising awareness about the threat from global warming.
As many as 12 concerts across seven continents featuring the likes of Madonna and Genesis and 100 other acts are planned over 24 hours, including one at a research station in Antarctica.
The organisers have so far struggled to find a clear-cut way of conveying their main message. Even rock performers have criticised the concept.
Roger Daltrey, of the Who, said another concert would simply waste fuel; Bob Geldof, who helped to organise Live Aid and Live 8, said people were already aware of the greenhouse effect; while Matt Bellamy, frontman of Muse, labelled it "private jets for climate change".
Oh, come on! Surely ol' Al would consider it worthwhile to lose a few on-life-support folks just to make his symbolic gesture... Afterall, what he's got to say is more important than anything; he's 'saving' the planet!